Play ball! WIU-QC will offer a new diploma in sports management to new graduates

Western Illinois University’s Sports Management Graduate Program is gearing up for a festive 2022-23 academic year, expanding to Moline in the fall of 2022.

The program is one of the oldest and most established graduate sports management programs in the nation, and the master’s degree will mark its 50th anniversary this fall, according to a release from WIU.

Western will begin offering the Master of Sports Management program on the Moline campus, beginning in fall 2022. Classes will be offered virtually through live, in-person, and online streaming formats.

Western Illinois University’s sports management graduate program can lead to careers in sports broadcasting.

WIU Kinesiology Chair Renne Polubinsky said the degree will provide graduate students with the opportunity to tap into the rich and diverse athletic landscape of the tri-state area and help meet the needs of employers across the region. region.

“This exciting news will give students in the Quad Cities area the opportunity to stay put and at home, as amply indicated by our survey that we circulated to students in the area as part of our needs assessment,” Polubinsky said.

The Quad Cities campus of Western Illinois University is located at 3300 River Drive, Moline.

In addition, Sports Management Professor Katja Sonkeng hopes the program, with its long tradition, history and solid reputation in the sports industry, will bring vibrant community engagement to the QC campus and mutually beneficial partnerships with regional sports giants, such as TBK Bank Sports. Complex and the Two Rivers YMCA.

To accomplish this, Professor Sonkeng will relocate in August to lead the program as a permanent presence at Moline, while Professor of Sports Management Jin Park will lead the program from the Macomb campus.

Katja Sonkeng, assistant professor of sports management at Western Illinois University

“The career opportunities for future sports professionals are endless. Students can seek employment at all levels of sport, recreation and fitness. More often, however, students aspire to become athletic directors at the interscholastic or collegiate level,” Sonkeng said.

Many graduates of the program have gone on to hold prestigious leadership positions in the sports industry and in academia, including a position as general manager of a professional sports franchise, public relations coordinator, athletic directors, directors Sports Communications and Vice President of Communications.

Kristi Mindrup, WIU’s vice president of campus operations QC, said the expansion of the sports management program to the Moline campus as the program celebrates its 50th anniversary comes at an exciting time.

“The programs offered on the Quad Cities campus are intended to align with both student interests and community needs,” Mindrup said. “The announcement of the expansion of the TBK Sports Complex, along with a rich tradition of sports-focused venues, programs, teams and events, opens the door for WIU and our current and future partners to create new learning experiences and career paths for students that will contribute to the future of sport in the Quad Cities region and beyond.

Students can apply to be part of this major now. For more information about the program, visit or email [email protected]

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